Carlos Aguilar

Carlos Aguilar is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

His current research seeks to explore the experiences and opportunities that undocumented immigrants encounter in historically racialized and marginalized contexts. As an undocumented immigrant and DACA recipient, Carlos’ underlying emphasis is to complicate current narratives and theoretical frameworks on these issues.

Prior to attending Penn, Carlos worked as a Research Assistant/Consultant for The National UnDACAmented Research Project and the READS Lab (Research Enhances Adaptations Designed for Scale in Literacy), engaging on survey/questionnaire design, data collection, and data analysis.


AM, Harvard University, Education
MS, University of Texas at San Antonio, Sociology
BA, Schreiner University, Psychology

Research Interests

Sociology of Immigration, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Sociology of Absences/Emergences, Critical Race Theory, (De)Coloniality, “Illegality”, Qualitative Research Methods

Courses Taught

Teaching Fellow- Harvard Graduate School of Education

EDU T002: Critical Race Theory in Education (Fall 2020, 2019, 2018)

EDU H517: Contemporary Immigration and Education Policy (Summer 2020, Fall 2019)

EDU S527: Ethnographic Methods (Spring 2020)

EDU T-410D: Toward Healing Centered Engagement in Classrooms, Schools, and Communities (Spring 2020)

EDU A310C: Faith, Education, and Leadership (Spring 2020)

Selected Publications

Aguilar, Carlos. 2020. “Todo es Diferente en la Frontera: Mixed-Status Familism in the Texas Border Strip.” Pp. 27-44 in Rethinking Young People’s Lives Through Space and Place. Vol. 26, Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, edited by A. Sriskandarajah. Emerald Publishing Limited.

Aguilar, Carlos, and Roberto G. Gonzales. 2020. “Impossible Realities, Deferred Action, Delegated Dreams and Stories of Resilience.” Pp. 388-406 in A Better Future: The Role of Higher Education for Displaced and Marginalised People, edited by J. Bhabha, W. Giles, and F. Mahomed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  

Aguilar, Carlos. 2019. "Undocumented Critical Theory." Cultural Studies↔ Critical Methodologies 19(3): 152-160.